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Android Headliner: Can Motorola Compete With Companies Like Xiaomi In China

February 1, 2015 - Written By Kristijan Lucic

Ah, Motorola… don’t even know where to begin this article to be quite honest. Motorola and Nokia were basically the two best known / most popular smartphone manufacturers in the world once. These two companies were well-known for the quality of their phones, basically everyone knew who those companies were and many people bought their products. Skip a decade or so, and you get a completely different picture in the market. Neither of these companies are what they used to be, not even close actually. I won’t refer to Nokia anymore (couldn’t help myself, had to draw a comparison between the companies), that would require a completely separate article, but Motorola is just as interesting.

Motorola Mobility was once an American company, they did really well in the mobile phone market, but not nearly as well when smart devices came to the scene. This company did manufacture smartphones, but they weren’t that well accepted. The company made a number of mistakes during the process and just didn’t manage to do as well as other vendors. Their MotoBlur OS was… well, not good. Then Google came to the scene and bought the company, totally re-organized everything and Motorola’s device suddenly became a lot more appealing. They still didn’t manage to turn profit though, even though they were on the right path to do so, but Google decided to sell (a part) of the company to Lenovo. They kept the ‘Special Projects’ part which is developing the ‘Ara’ project, and a number of patents, but the smartphone business and the majority of everything went Lenovo’s way.

Considering the fact Lenovo is a Chinese company, these were certainly good news for Chinese consumers, everyone assumed that Motorola-made devices will find its way to China… and that happened quite recently, this week in fact. The company has announced the 2nd-gen Moto G and Moto X handset, as well as the Moto X Pro phablet, which is essentially a new name for the Nexus 6 phablet. That being said, Motorola will face a lot of other companies in the Chinese market, Lenovo is well aware of that. Xiaomi is currently the number one smartphone manufacturer in China, but is not the only threat over there. Samsung is not a Chinese company, but is the second-placed as far as market share goes. Huawei, Meizu, ZTE, Asus, Acer… there are lots of companies which can make it difficult for Motorola to turn profit in China.

Motorola is a Lenovo-owned company now, as I already mentioned, which is a great thing for Motorola considering Lenovo will know exactly how to approach the market in that Asian country. Still, the question remains if the Motorola will be able to adapt to the market and how will the consumers in China accept their devices. Motorola is not exactly a type of company which is trying to offer their devices for the lowest price possible, they have one of such devices in China now, the Moto G, but the Moto X and Moto X Pro are a completely different story. Both of those handsets are high-end devices and I wonder if Chinese consumers will be interested in them at all. This will be a really interesting year for Motorola, that much is for sure.

Another obstacle for Motorola are ‘Flash Sales’ which are so popular in China, a concept which I wrote about last week in fact. Motorola will have to adapt to Chinese market and adapt this concept in order to succeed, that is at least my assumption. People recognize the Motorola brand, but many of them still don’t see them as a successful smartphone maker. I was actually surprised how ignorant people are when it comes to Motorola, at least in Europe, they simply don’t want to purchase a Motorola-made device because they haven’t heard of them in a long time, which is silly, but that’s how people are. That’s why advertising is so important, and companies in China do it differently than we do here in the west. I said it already, and I’ll say it again, it’s a good thing for Motorola to have Lenovo’s experience on their side. Either way, I’m rooting for Motorola, I really am. I grew up using their mobile phones and respect them as a brand, not only that, but I like rooting for the underdogs for some reason. That being said, what are your thoughts here, do you think that Motorola can succeed in a such highly-competitive market which is so much different than what they’re used to?